13 Iyar 5781
The Armenian community, on 24 April, remembers the anniversary of the beginning of the extermination of its people. On 24 April 1915 the Turkish Minister for Internal Affaits, Talaat Pasza, gave the order for the mass deportations and the murders of Armenians. On that day, in Istambul, 2300 representatives of the Armenian elite were arrested and most were murdered. The deportation of Armenians who lived in Anatolia began on 27 May 1915. They were taken to Syria and Mesopotamia. The Turkish government decided to surround Armenian villages and those who were not murdered on the spot were sent to their death in marches in the desert. Most died of thirst and hunger. Others were thrown in precipices or had horseshoes nailed to their feet. Their priests were either burnt or buried alive. It is estimated that about 1.5 million people died between 1915 and 1917.
The Armenian genocide is the second-most (after the Shoah) documented and described genocide committed by State authorities against an ethnic group in modern times.
We suggest the readers to watch Emmy-nominated “Intent to Destory” (2018, USA) (trailer here, graphic warning!) by Joe Berlinger as well as “The Armenian Massacre” (USA, 2006) by Andrew Goldberg ( https://youtu.be/k2vMtA6NW_U , graphic warning!) The latter shows the events before, during and after the World War, including the present situation, in which Turkey still denies the genocidal nature of those events. Many scholars participated in film “Armenian Massacre” – some of Turkish origin, such as Peter Balakian, Samantha Power, Ron Suny, Taner Akcam, Halil Bertkay and Israel Charny. The narrator was Julianna Marguiles and the history is told by Ed Harris, Natalie Portman, Laura Linney and Orlando Bloom.